How To… Travel On A Shoestring

You’ve just finished your exams and walked out the gym hall with a tired but relieved smile on your face.

Back home, your whole body sighs as you slump down on your bed and try not to think about anything for a while.

You look out the window at the drizzly rain tapping the glass and realise that you’d love to soak up some sunshine this summer but don’t have much dough to pack your bags and head for warmer climes.

Travelling overseas can sound like an expensive venture, but if you’re smart you can have a foreign adventure without breaking the bank.

Check out our money-saving tips to guide you as you look to watch the pennies on your travels.

Use your skills is a new site which brings people together as host and guest. It’s a place where you can exchange your skills for a free stay in a HostCambio’s home. So if you see yourself as the next Ed Sheeran, teach your guitar skills for just two hours a day, and the host provides a spare room in exchange for a night. Based in Ireland, GoCambio was launched in March and already has members in 91 different countries, so plenty of choice for you to consider where to head to.

Shop around online

If you’re keen to fly abroad, don’t just jump on the likes of easyJet or Ryanair and pick the first flight that you see. Sites like Skyscanner, TravelSupermarket and Kayak are all useful for checking a range of airlines for flights. If you’d prefer to keep your feet on the ground, Eurail provide tickets for trains throughout Europe. If you’re younger than 25 on the first day of your travel, get hold of a youth pass, which saves you 35% on the adult price, or if you’re travelling in a group, a Saver Pass is 15% cheaper than the adult prices.

Travel in a group

Not only is this safer, but essential travelling needs usually work out cheaper. has a mammoth choice of hotels and hostels across the world. If you and your mates book a dorm, you can pay as little as £9 per night. When eating out, share your food and order platters. Split the bill and you’ll be surprised how cheap food can be abroad compared with the U.K.

Don’t do the touristy stuff

Countries like Greece rely heavily on tourists to help with their crumbling economy. More often than not, locals look at tourists with pound signs in their eyes. It’s best to stay away from expensive “cruises” that promise “great food and fun” but frequently end up serving poor quality grub and leave you for hours on some remote island with little more to look at than a few rocks and lizards. Enjoy walks, swims in the sea, afternoons on local beaches and a pre-bought paperback from your local supermarket for budget-friendly ways of relaxing abroad.

Buy before you fly

Pick up travel accessories such as adaptor plugs, eye masks and travel cushions in pound shops and pharmacists before you go. These can cost a fortune in airports. Alternatively, share your adaptor plugs and suntan lotion with your pals. When flying, wear your heaviest clothes and shoes to avoid a surcharge on exceeding the baggage allowance. If you’re near the weight limit, put heavy gear in your pockets, then stick your jacket under your seat on the plane.

For more travel guidance tips, visit

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